In a major breakthrough, a team of the University of Delaware researchers has invented Membrane Technology by reinventing the common latrine, adding a breathable fabric to protect the groundwater and wells from contamination. The membrane captures the waste and allows water to evaporate over time, leaving everything else behind. The waste gradually dries, and clean water is released. The membrane is also reusable many times.
While the process relies on a sophisticated technology, the application is quite simple and affordable. The technology would be particularly useful in wastewater treatment facilities all over the world.
Funded through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the work would protect lakhs of sanitation workers in India and other developing countries from exposure to pathogens. A pilot project is being carried out at Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh.